Perusal* – Autumn 2011, Reflections on Landmarks…

(* perusal; to examine or consider with attention and in detail) 

Jeremiah 31: 21 “ Set up signposts, Make landmarks; 

      Set your heart toward the highway, The way in which you went. 

      Turn back, O virgin of Israel, Turn back to these your cities.  

Flat Creek has enjoyed a summer of weddings, four to be exact.  And each one has been beautiful, poignant, and different in their style and formality.  The couples selected meaningful reminders of their lives to that particular moment when they were united as husband and wife.  The music and songs were selected, scripture was carefully and solemnly read, the vows were tailored especially for each young couple….the ceremonies reflected their love for each other and their love for their Lord, Jesus Christ. 

What occurred on each of their special days will be remembered for years.  The moments were photographed and videotaped and then posted to the latest social network craze of the day - Facebook.  They have established landmarks in their young lives.  Events they can return to year after year to reflect on commitments made before hundreds of people that they will be faithful to each other and to Christ Jesus as long as they live. 

We think of landmarks as stationary things along the sides of country roads or interstates that lend themselves to finding a specific address, place of business, church, school, or home.  With the advent of GPS systems I suspect they are not used as frequently as years ago.  But some people still use them.  In fact this week I provided a lady with directions to Flat Creek that not only included road numbers but also a few landmarks to easily locate the church. Hope she found them informational.

Our Lord is gracious in providing spiritual landmarks for our guidance.  The passage above is taken from Jeremiah’s prophecy to Judah.  The specific chapter, 31, mentions landmarks that are made for the purpose of correcting their bent to sinning.   They are mentioned together with signposts and highways, normal methods of traveling from one point to another.

Jeremiah is preaching to his kindred about repentance, turning back or turning around, changing direction. The church needs a change in direction.  We need to establish the landmark of God’s word as it promotes His Son Jesus Christ as the only remedy for the world’s sin and sinners.  We need to be reminded of the signposts that warn us of impending danger, the washed out road ahead or the sharp curve that we happen upon too quickly.  We should pay attention to the highways of sin’s attraction that eventually will rob us of our joy in the Savior. 

Flat Creek is celebrating 180 years of continuous service in the Lynchburg area.  There have been and continue to be landmarks from the church’s past.  Outside Flat Creek’s Educational building are two stone “stiles”.  These were used decades ago when people attending church rode horses to the services.  They are steps made from granite that permitted people to mount and dismount their horses. They are landmarks from an earlier time, perhaps a simpler time.  And they remind us that men, women, boys and girls served our Lord Jesus Christ long before we knew of Him. They were made many years ago, were used hundreds of times, and now remain as reminders of Flat Creek’s legacy.  If the Lord Jesus tarries His Coming the stiles will continue to be reminders of this legacy to believers that follow us long after we are gone. 

In the same chapter 31 of Jeremiah the Lord tells His prophet that He will make a new covenant with His chosen people.   

33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” 

As God’s people let us not forget the landmarks He has left to remind us of His great mercy, his unmerited grace, and His everlasting love. 

Sola Deo Gloria! Pastor Carey